Altar of St Mary's with Gold decor and Easter flowers

Confirmation

Confirmation is the second sacrament of initiation.  The original and normative order for celebrating the sacraments of initiation is Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  Originally and for many centuries the sacraments of initiation were celebrated in that order: baptism followed immediately by confirmation, followed by sharing in Holy Communion within the celebration of Eucharist.  Adults, infants and children were initiated into the Church in this manner.  The normal minister to preside during the celebration was the bishop. 
 
We are baptized and confirmed so that we are made able to participate fully in the Eucharist.  Participating fully in the celebration of Eucharist includes being nourished on the Word of God and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and being sent to live as the Body of Christ in the world.  Our full sharing in the Eucharist is the event that draws us into communion of life in God.
 
Confirmation is not a sacrament of maturity; it is a sacrament of initiation.  Those who seek to be confirmed are asking to deepen their relationship with Christ and the believing community.  Those to be confirmed are anointed with sacred chrism.  The anointing seals their baptism. The candidate is confirmed using his or her baptismal name and is accompanied by a sponsor. 
 
The sponsor is to be:
  • a Roman Catholic,
  • at least 16 years of age,
  • a fully initiated member of the Church,
  • a faithful active participant at the Sunday eucharist.  
(Canons 893, 874)
 
Being a sponsor is not an honourary role.  The sponsor is a guide, witness, and companion for the candidate.  A parent may not be a sponsor.  The sponsor does not need to be a relative nor the same gender as the candidate.
 
 Confirmation is the sacrament, which empowers us to celebrate the Eucharist in a new and more dynamic way through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are sent out from the Sunday Eucharist as people whose mission it is to witness to Christ in the world.  The Spirit given us in confirmation enables us to give a powerful and effective witness to Christ's presence.
 
Immediate preparation for the celebration of Confirmation begins with an information meeting.  Please take note of the dates and plan on attending one of the meetings. 
 
Preparing for Confirmation: An Information Meeting for Parents 
 
Each Fall an information meeting is held for parents and young people.  Participation in the meeting is essential.  Please consult the parish bulletin regularly for notice about meetings.  


Confirmation is an essential part of Christian Initiation. In Confirmation the bishop seals us, the baptized, with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This sacrament is intended to:

  • root us more deeply as sons and daughters of God,
  • incorporate us more firmly into Christ,
  • strengthen our bond with the Church,
  • associate us more closely with the mission of the Church, and
  • strengthen us to bear witness to the Christian faith.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why must I take part in a parish-based program when I am attending a Catholic School?

The Catholic schools assist the parents and the parish with what is called "initial preparation" for the sacraments. Initial preparation deals primarily with content: What do we believe as Catholics?

"Immediate preparation," which takes place shortly before a sacrament is celebrated, is the responsibility of the parents and the parish. Immediate preparation leads the candidates to look at their relationship with God and with the Church.


2. What is a sponsor?

If possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor is a model of faith for the candidate and must be a fully initiated, practising Catholic in good standing under church laws and normally at least 16 years of age. It is desirable that the sponsor selected be a godparent who undertook the role at Baptism.


3. Why must I submit a Baptism certificate?

Only someone who is baptized Roman Catholic or who has been received into the Roman Catholic Church may celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. The parish is responsible for verifying this by collecting Baptism Certificates or Certificates of Reception from those presenting themselves as candidates.


4. I was baptized in an Eastern Rite Church, so I was confirmed at the same time. Can I be confirmed again?

Confirmation may be celebrated only once. However, the Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop expects Grade 7 students who are already confirmed to take part in the preparation program at school and in the parish to deepen their understanding of their faith. During the Confirmation Mass, they will be called forward to receive a blessing. Any Grade 7 student who is already confirmed is encouraged to participate in the program.


5. What happens if I miss one of my sessions?

Enrolling in the Confirmation program means commitment to taking part in all aspects of the preparation: Rite of Enrolment, all sessions, retreat. If you are sick or have some other serious conflict, contact the coordinator of the program to arrange to make up the session. Candidates who fail to participate without a valid reason may be required to withdraw from the program and delay Confirmation till another time.


6. What do I do if I decide (during or after the preparation) not to be confirmed?

If you decide that this is not the time for you to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, you are asked to contact the coordinator. We will respect your decision, and encourage you to consider being confirmed when the time is right for you.


7. Why does the parish need the address of the church where I was baptized?

After you have been confirmed, we record the details in our parish Confirmation register. We are also required to send a notice to the parish in which you were baptized (no matter where in the world that parish is located) and they, too, enter your Confirmation in their records. We can only do this when you provide a complete mailing address for the church.‚Äč

 

Resources

To learn more about Confirmation, these resources may help: